One calculation I like to do each year: our effective tax rate. Forget all the complicated tax brackets, deductions, credits, and accounting hocus-pocus. In the end, how much income tax did we pay, overall, when compared to our gross income? That's what our effective tax rate tells us.
Here's where we came out:
For comparison purposes, our 2007 effective tax rate showed up at 13 percent.
Our nearly-four-percent increase can be attributed to our focus on debt paydown and emergency-fund saving, rather than contributions to tax-saving accounts like 529 plans and IRAs.